My wife writes a blog about medical issues, surgery and patient safety. She reposted an article from a Colorado news firm concerning a surgeon with multiple admitted surgical errors. The Dr. surrendered her licence in that state and moved to another to practice again causing patient harm. Again the Dr. surrendered her licence and moved to yet another state to practice.
Now my wife has received a letter from a lawyer stating legal action if the post is not removed by December 31, 2012.
The news firm in Colorado has documentation from the Colorado medical board proving all allegations are true.
Should my wife be concerned with legal action? Should she comply and remove the post or will she be protected under the right to free speech? Thank you for your assistance.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Based on what you have told us, the law seems to be on your wife's side. I might see things differently if I could read the post and the demand letter. But even assuming your wife is in the right, the doctor could take action against her. She would then have to mount a defense, which can be expensive.
Many states have laws to protect people in her position. Those laws usually provide a method to have the case dismissed and require the unsuccessful plaintiff to pay the defendant's legal fees and costs. Your wife should find out what state the doctor is threatening to sue in, and then ask lawyers in that state how she can defend herself.
If the potential lawsuit would be in California, your wife should feel free to contact me directly.
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